Posted by R.GORDON, a resident of another community, on Sep 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm
Forget about the debutantes, the inventors an tycoons to lend an air of respectability to this area.
The REALLY fascinating story of Atherton has to do with the colorful and aristocratic MAFIA who had style, tons of real money, and who knew how to spend it both traveling, in San Francisco where they kept sumptuous digs, and were palsy with all of the politicians,City Hall both in Atherton and SF and NY. This was in the 50's and I am sure there are a lot of remnants or descendants walking the corridors of city hall today. They may not be related but still know how to make deals.
The wives all shopped the Paris salons and jewelry from Laykins et Cie was competitive with NY in style and equal to Cartier while they wore Diors to the opening nights at the opera and most people ate dinner at their own tables at the Captain's table 4 nights a week, at least.....Right up to the 70's, the dowdier set of Atherton who found that life "vulgar", ran to read Herb Caen to find out which locals were dining with movie stars or politicians.
Even the "prominent old families" of which there were more in S.F. thought the Peninsula "quaint" but a nice Sunday drive. This book is going to have to have some really great stories to take away from that period when Silicon Valley brought attention and "grace" back to this area. When an 85 year old wreck of a house would have been torn down without even calling downtown for permission.